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A successful socialist economy

Loren Pechtel

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What a stupid meme! Norway has ~5 million people and produces ~2 Mbbl/d of oil.
I guess if US had oil production of 0.4 bbl/d/person (i.e. about 130 Mbbl/d, much more than world's total), we'd be able to afford Norway levels of largess too.
USA GDP Per Capita 63,543.58 USD (2020)
Norway GDP Per Capita 67,294.48 USD (2020)

Virtually the same.
You miss the point--they have the same GDP per capita (and the comparison is far closer when you look at purchasing power) despite a whole bunch of oil.
 

steve_bank

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The OP represents what I take to be Freethought. In Freethought one tries to look at issues without looking through a partclar -ism.

In the OP some try to shoehorn a country like Sweden into a dictionary definition of socialism amd the USA in old Marxist terms.

The better approach is to say Sweden is a successful system with attributes a, b, and c that differentiates from say the American system with attributes d,e,f. Therefore Sweden is bettor or worse than the American system for reasons a,b,c.

If we do nor get down to specifics it is a never ending philosophical debate on meaning.
Horse shit. The Nordic Model goes straight back to the Kanslergade Agreement, which was overtly and officially, a compromise package that included the most pressing priorities of several different parties, some of them being socialist. It constitutes a compromise between socialism and capitalism, but socialism was clearly a part of that compromise. To deny this would reflect a stunning ignorance of history.


If you want to know who to thank for making sure that that compromise happened, you can thank Thorvald Stauning, who remains one of the most effective statesmen in European history. He is a model of statesmanship because he used compromise to create a better system than any of the parties in his government could have created by themselves. He turned his government into a united team, and that team realized that their first responsibility was toward the common people of Denmark, not toward partisan loyalties.

However, that great Danish statesman also happened to be a socialist.

View attachment 38782
If you say so. I fail to see your point other than waving a Nordic flag. I alwys thoght the fernier European was Charles De Gaulle. Silly me.

As I said it should be about specifics not definitions.

Sweden and China may both be stoicalist in some ways, yet they are entirely different social systems. You could not pay me enough to live in China.

I watched a show on Denmark I think it was. On the question of large scale social security and welfare provided by the system one citizen said it is good, but it also leads to a feeling of stagnation. Attributes positive and negative of a system.
 

DrZoidberg

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The OP represents what I take to be Freethought. In Freethought one tries to look at issues without looking through a partclar -ism.

In the OP some try to shoehorn a country like Sweden into a dictionary definition of socialism amd the USA in old Marxist terms.

The better approach is to say Sweden is a successful system with attributes a, b, and c that differentiates from say the American system with attributes d,e,f. Therefore Sweden is bettor or worse than the American system for reasons a,b,c.

If we do nor get down to specifics it is a never ending philosophical debate on meaning.
Horse shit. The Nordic Model goes straight back to the Kanslergade Agreement, which was overtly and officially, a compromise package that included the most pressing priorities of several different parties, some of them being socialist. It constitutes a compromise between socialism and capitalism, but socialism was clearly a part of that compromise. To deny this would reflect a stunning ignorance of history.


If you want to know who to thank for making sure that that compromise happened, you can thank Thorvald Stauning, who remains one of the most effective statesmen in European history. He is a model of statesmanship because he used compromise to create a better system than any of the parties in his government could have created by themselves. He turned his government into a united team, and that team realized that their first responsibility was toward the common people of Denmark, not toward partisan loyalties.

However, that great Danish statesman also happened to be a socialist.

View attachment 38782

But this was a feature of German socialism as well, and socialism in Eastern Europe. In these countries the unions see themselves as partners with the capitalist and the goal of the union is to enrich both parties. Its still like this in these areas.

In England, USA and France trade unions had an adversarial tradition where the goal was to bleed the capitalist as much as possible. It led to situations where capitalists were forced to enter into agreements making them uncompetitive. The American train union is the most famous example. Ensuring that a guy was hired to shuffle coal, regardless if the train was electric or not. And other craziness.

So I don't think it comes down to a single person and a single agreement.

I think it comes down to if cultures are collectivist or individualist. In collectivist cultures the social norm is to get your nose into other people's business. People naturally are more cooperative and more team players. This will influence how their unions behave.

Overall I think collectivist cultures are worse to live in, because its harder to do your own thing. The social pressure isn't to excel, it's to be good enough and normal. Which is bad for anyone not fitting into norms.

They're just less fun.
 

SigmatheZeta

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The OP represents what I take to be Freethought. In Freethought one tries to look at issues without looking through a partclar -ism.

In the OP some try to shoehorn a country like Sweden into a dictionary definition of socialism amd the USA in old Marxist terms.

The better approach is to say Sweden is a successful system with attributes a, b, and c that differentiates from say the American system with attributes d,e,f. Therefore Sweden is bettor or worse than the American system for reasons a,b,c.

If we do nor get down to specifics it is a never ending philosophical debate on meaning.
Horse shit. The Nordic Model goes straight back to the Kanslergade Agreement, which was overtly and officially, a compromise package that included the most pressing priorities of several different parties, some of them being socialist. It constitutes a compromise between socialism and capitalism, but socialism was clearly a part of that compromise. To deny this would reflect a stunning ignorance of history.


If you want to know who to thank for making sure that that compromise happened, you can thank Thorvald Stauning, who remains one of the most effective statesmen in European history. He is a model of statesmanship because he used compromise to create a better system than any of the parties in his government could have created by themselves. He turned his government into a united team, and that team realized that their first responsibility was toward the common people of Denmark, not toward partisan loyalties.

However, that great Danish statesman also happened to be a socialist.

View attachment 38782

But this was a feature of German socialism as well, and socialism in Eastern Europe. In these countries the unions see themselves as partners with the capitalist and the goal of the union is to enrich both parties. Its still like this in these areas.

In England, USA and France trade unions had an adversarial tradition where the goal was to bleed the capitalist as much as possible. It led to situations where capitalists were forced to enter into agreements making them uncompetitive. The American train union is the most famous example. Ensuring that a guy was hired to shuffle coal, regardless if the train was electric or not. And other craziness.

So I don't think it comes down to a single person and a single agreement.

I think it comes down to if cultures are collectivist or individualist. In collectivist cultures the social norm is to get your nose into other people's business. People naturally are more cooperative and more team players. This will influence how their unions behave.

Overall I think collectivist cultures are worse to live in, because its harder to do your own thing. The social pressure isn't to excel, it's to be good enough and normal. Which is bad for anyone not fitting into norms.

They're just less fun.
I am intensely individualistic, but that is one of the reasons why I would join a union if the only jobs available in an economy had viciously authoritarian management involved in them. If I have management that respects me and sees me as an asset that they want to keep, then that is good. I am a very hard worker, and I don't show up to work in order to play. I am very proud of my work ethic. I have had one boss, in my entire life, that wanted to play a domineering role in the relationship and who routinely treated me with bad faith, and whenever he would push me too far, I would push back, resulting in the most amazing shouting matches you ever heard. I always won because if he ever seriously crossed the line, I would just threaten to go home and leave the work to him. He always backed down when it came to that because he knew that he needed me a lot more than I needed him. Eventually, when he expected me to comply with an insanely unreasonable demand, I drove away, and he never saw me again. I'm a very cooperative sort of person, but someone that fucks with me eventually finds out why fucking with me is a bad idea.

Let's put it this way. In a situation where the owners of a firm sent out ruthless strike breakers armed with whips, chains, and clubs to break up a strike, I would be the anarchist that hurled a lit stick of dynamite at the motherfuckers and sent them to Hell.

On the other hand, if I had a good relationship with my employer, which I presently do, then I would not take any shit from a pushy labor union, either. If I felt like it was in my interests to have a direct relationship with my employer, then that is what I would want to preserve.

However, it is going to be up to me if I want to vote union or not, and if my employer started firing people over union advocacy and if people were still whispering about it, let me tell you, I'd side with the union, and I would find a way to make sure we joined.

It's a matter of which party is more likely to give me personal respect. It's not wages, and it's not even working conditions. It's respect. A lack of respect, by an employer, is the only force that would ever compel me to join a union. If an employer wants to keep me out of the union then they had better tell me that I have a right to join if I want to join. Someone that understands that I have rights automatically has a right to my loyalty.
 

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The OP represents what I take to be Freethought. In Freethought one tries to look at issues without looking through a partclar -ism.

In the OP some try to shoehorn a country like Sweden into a dictionary definition of socialism amd the USA in old Marxist terms.

The better approach is to say Sweden is a successful system with attributes a, b, and c that differentiates from say the American system with attributes d,e,f. Therefore Sweden is bettor or worse than the American system for reasons a,b,c.

If we do nor get down to specifics it is a never ending philosophical debate on meaning.
Horse shit. The Nordic Model goes straight back to the Kanslergade Agreement, which was overtly and officially, a compromise package that included the most pressing priorities of several different parties, some of them being socialist. It constitutes a compromise between socialism and capitalism, but socialism was clearly a part of that compromise. To deny this would reflect a stunning ignorance of history.


If you want to know who to thank for making sure that that compromise happened, you can thank Thorvald Stauning, who remains one of the most effective statesmen in European history. He is a model of statesmanship because he used compromise to create a better system than any of the parties in his government could have created by themselves. He turned his government into a united team, and that team realized that their first responsibility was toward the common people of Denmark, not toward partisan loyalties.

However, that great Danish statesman also happened to be a socialist.

View attachment 38782

But this was a feature of German socialism as well, and socialism in Eastern Europe. In these countries the unions see themselves as partners with the capitalist and the goal of the union is to enrich both parties. Its still like this in these areas.

In England, USA and France trade unions had an adversarial tradition where the goal was to bleed the capitalist as much as possible. It led to situations where capitalists were forced to enter into agreements making them uncompetitive. The American train union is the most famous example. Ensuring that a guy was hired to shuffle coal, regardless if the train was electric or not. And other craziness.
Trade unions were adversarial in the USA because the owners were adversarial at first (and many still are). Hell, the GOP is anti-union still.




 

DrZoidberg

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The OP represents what I take to be Freethought. In Freethought one tries to look at issues without looking through a partclar -ism.

In the OP some try to shoehorn a country like Sweden into a dictionary definition of socialism amd the USA in old Marxist terms.

The better approach is to say Sweden is a successful system with attributes a, b, and c that differentiates from say the American system with attributes d,e,f. Therefore Sweden is bettor or worse than the American system for reasons a,b,c.

If we do nor get down to specifics it is a never ending philosophical debate on meaning.
Horse shit. The Nordic Model goes straight back to the Kanslergade Agreement, which was overtly and officially, a compromise package that included the most pressing priorities of several different parties, some of them being socialist. It constitutes a compromise between socialism and capitalism, but socialism was clearly a part of that compromise. To deny this would reflect a stunning ignorance of history.


If you want to know who to thank for making sure that that compromise happened, you can thank Thorvald Stauning, who remains one of the most effective statesmen in European history. He is a model of statesmanship because he used compromise to create a better system than any of the parties in his government could have created by themselves. He turned his government into a united team, and that team realized that their first responsibility was toward the common people of Denmark, not toward partisan loyalties.

However, that great Danish statesman also happened to be a socialist.

View attachment 38782

But this was a feature of German socialism as well, and socialism in Eastern Europe. In these countries the unions see themselves as partners with the capitalist and the goal of the union is to enrich both parties. Its still like this in these areas.

In England, USA and France trade unions had an adversarial tradition where the goal was to bleed the capitalist as much as possible. It led to situations where capitalists were forced to enter into agreements making them uncompetitive. The American train union is the most famous example. Ensuring that a guy was hired to shuffle coal, regardless if the train was electric or not. And other craziness.
Trade unions were adversarial in the USA because the owners were adversarial at first (and many still are). Hell, the GOP is anti-union still.





I think capitalists have always been adversarial to labourunions. In Scandinavia they only cooperate with the unions because they have to.
 

SigmatheZeta

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Generally, I am rooted in both ancient Epicurean and ancient Pyrrhonist sentiments, although I am somewhat sympathetic toward the intentions behind ancient Cynicism.
The OP represents what I take to be Freethought. In Freethought one tries to look at issues without looking through a partclar -ism.

In the OP some try to shoehorn a country like Sweden into a dictionary definition of socialism amd the USA in old Marxist terms.

The better approach is to say Sweden is a successful system with attributes a, b, and c that differentiates from say the American system with attributes d,e,f. Therefore Sweden is bettor or worse than the American system for reasons a,b,c.

If we do nor get down to specifics it is a never ending philosophical debate on meaning.
Horse shit. The Nordic Model goes straight back to the Kanslergade Agreement, which was overtly and officially, a compromise package that included the most pressing priorities of several different parties, some of them being socialist. It constitutes a compromise between socialism and capitalism, but socialism was clearly a part of that compromise. To deny this would reflect a stunning ignorance of history.


If you want to know who to thank for making sure that that compromise happened, you can thank Thorvald Stauning, who remains one of the most effective statesmen in European history. He is a model of statesmanship because he used compromise to create a better system than any of the parties in his government could have created by themselves. He turned his government into a united team, and that team realized that their first responsibility was toward the common people of Denmark, not toward partisan loyalties.

However, that great Danish statesman also happened to be a socialist.

View attachment 38782

But this was a feature of German socialism as well, and socialism in Eastern Europe. In these countries the unions see themselves as partners with the capitalist and the goal of the union is to enrich both parties. Its still like this in these areas.

In England, USA and France trade unions had an adversarial tradition where the goal was to bleed the capitalist as much as possible. It led to situations where capitalists were forced to enter into agreements making them uncompetitive. The American train union is the most famous example. Ensuring that a guy was hired to shuffle coal, regardless if the train was electric or not. And other craziness.
Trade unions were adversarial in the USA because the owners were adversarial at first (and many still are). Hell, the GOP is anti-union still.





I think capitalists have always been adversarial to labourunions. In Scandinavia they only cooperate with the unions because they have to.
In Scandinavia, they have a tradition of honoring the compromise agreement that made peace between the owners of capital and labor. This is a very important part of their history, and it would be a fool that overlooked its significance. These partly symbolic political victories have a tremendous long-term impact that outlives their immediate significance.

The Scandinavian states are good places to do business precisely because the trade unions have traditionally been on the side of helping the businesses they work for prosper as long as the pay and working conditions are reasonable.
 

SigmatheZeta

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Generally, I am rooted in both ancient Epicurean and ancient Pyrrhonist sentiments, although I am somewhat sympathetic toward the intentions behind ancient Cynicism.

There. Three of the best places in the world to do business are Nordic states, and Iceland, another Nordic state, comes in at 11th place with 91% of their labor unionized. 2nd place goes to Germany, where 80% of labor is unionized. Both the United Kingdom and Ireland have higher rates of unionization than the United States, both of them being around 20-something percent, and I believe that statistic for unionization in Israel are similar.


The idea that unionization is inherently bad for business is a baldfaced fucking lie. However, I think that unionization works best when the unions themselves have a pro-business philosophy. I think that the Kanslergade Agreement played a very strong historical role in this being the norm in the Scandinavian economy. This is the only way that a 91% unionized economy could work at all: when the unions understand that it's also business that butters their bread, the unions are ultimately a boon to the overall economy.
 

SigmatheZeta

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Generally, I am rooted in both ancient Epicurean and ancient Pyrrhonist sentiments, although I am somewhat sympathetic toward the intentions behind ancient Cynicism.
Oh, and another thing. The rate of union representation, in the United States, generally has a direct relationship with that state's general level of habitability. The least unionized state in the US is South Carolina. I have lived near there my entire life, and it's a piss-pot. North Carolina barely has a breathable atmosphere outside the Research Triangle Park area, and I have been promoting secession from the rest of the state. The other states at the bottom of the list are also garbage places to live.


Face it, anti-socialists: unionization is one aspect of socialism that actually does some good. Swallow the truth.

Admit it, or shame on you for telling yourself a lie.

The most ideal case is that case where there is no need for a company to unionize because the owners of that company happen to genuinely care. That is possible. Unfortunately, the primary reasons why companies do not unionize is that the employees are afraid of being persecuted for attempting to promote their own interests. As long as the absence of a union is due to the tyranny of a company's shareholders and management, every decent and reasonable person should support unions.
 

steve_bank

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Unions came about because the capitalism of the day was authoritarian. Ford ran his company like a dictator.

The documentary qbout 'Bloody Haan County' may be online. It is about the battle between coal miners unionizing and and the owner in Han County Kentucky. Owners had armed thugs to supress protest and unionizing, they were shooting encounters. Miners lived in copany towns. In the old days mines paid miners who spent money in compamy stores and payed rent for company housing. Once yiu had a family yu were stuck in the situation.

And of course Black Lung Disease.



Or Jimmy Hoffa. Before the Teanstrs life for long haul truckers was brutal.

Conditions today are benign compared to those times.

Boing is unionized in Washgton includng engneers.

You coud say unions foretasted improved benefits in non union business. In order to keep unions out companies began offering simiar benifit

Some states have right to work laws. A union shop can not exclude non union workers. In a ste without right to work laws if take a job in a union shop you are forced to pay dues.

In the context of labor law in the United States, the term "right-to-work laws" refers to state laws that prohibit union security agreements between employers and labor unions. Under these laws, employees in unionized workplaces are banned from negotiating contracts which require employees who are not union members to contribute to the costs of union representation.[1] Right-to-work laws do not aim to provide general guarantee of employment to people seeking work.

The 1947 federal Taft–Hartley Act governing private sector employment prohibits the "closed shop" in which employees are required to be members of a union as a condition of employment, but allows the union shop or "agency shop" in which employees pay a fee for the cost of representation without joining the union.[2] Individual U.S. states set their own policies for state and local government employees (i.e., public sector employees). Twenty-seven states have right-to-work policies (either by statutes or by constitutional provision).[3][4] In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that agency shop arrangements for public sector employees were unconstitutional in the case Janus v. AFSCME.
 

SigmatheZeta

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Unions came about because the capitalism of the day was authoritarian. Ford ran his company like a dictator.

The documentary qbout 'Bloody Haan County' may be online. It is about the battle between coal miners unionizing and and the owner in Han County Kentucky. Owners had armed thugs to supress protest and unionizing, they were shooting encounters. Miners lived in copany towns. In the old days mines paid miners who spent money in compamy stores and payed rent for company housing. Once yiu had a family yu were stuck in the situation.

And of course Black Lung Disease.



Or Jimmy Hoffa. Before the Teanstrs life for long haul truckers was brutal.

Conditions today are benign compared to those times.

Boing is unionized in Washgton includng engneers.

You coud say unions foretasted improved benefits in non union business. In order to keep unions out companies began offering simiar benifit

Some states have right to work laws. A union shop can not exclude non union workers. In a ste without right to work laws if take a job in a union shop you are forced to pay dues.

In the context of labor law in the United States, the term "right-to-work laws" refers to state laws that prohibit union security agreements between employers and labor unions. Under these laws, employees in unionized workplaces are banned from negotiating contracts which require employees who are not union members to contribute to the costs of union representation.[1] Right-to-work laws do not aim to provide general guarantee of employment to people seeking work.

The 1947 federal Taft–Hartley Act governing private sector employment prohibits the "closed shop" in which employees are required to be members of a union as a condition of employment, but allows the union shop or "agency shop" in which employees pay a fee for the cost of representation without joining the union.[2] Individual U.S. states set their own policies for state and local government employees (i.e., public sector employees). Twenty-seven states have right-to-work policies (either by statutes or by constitutional provision).[3][4] In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that agency shop arrangements for public sector employees were unconstitutional in the case Janus v. AFSCME.
If you are going to work at a firm, then you also have to follow the rules that are set by management. It is very strange if someone accepts the authority of management, yet they object to the authority of a union.

The difference between the authority of management and the authority of a union is that at least you get to vote in the union.

I prefer no authoritarianism at all, but if the management at my place of work is authoritarian, then I would prefer the authority of a union where I get to vote on which jerk I have to listen to.
 

DrZoidberg

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The OP represents what I take to be Freethought. In Freethought one tries to look at issues without looking through a partclar -ism.

In the OP some try to shoehorn a country like Sweden into a dictionary definition of socialism amd the USA in old Marxist terms.

The better approach is to say Sweden is a successful system with attributes a, b, and c that differentiates from say the American system with attributes d,e,f. Therefore Sweden is bettor or worse than the American system for reasons a,b,c.

If we do nor get down to specifics it is a never ending philosophical debate on meaning.
Horse shit. The Nordic Model goes straight back to the Kanslergade Agreement, which was overtly and officially, a compromise package that included the most pressing priorities of several different parties, some of them being socialist. It constitutes a compromise between socialism and capitalism, but socialism was clearly a part of that compromise. To deny this would reflect a stunning ignorance of history.


If you want to know who to thank for making sure that that compromise happened, you can thank Thorvald Stauning, who remains one of the most effective statesmen in European history. He is a model of statesmanship because he used compromise to create a better system than any of the parties in his government could have created by themselves. He turned his government into a united team, and that team realized that their first responsibility was toward the common people of Denmark, not toward partisan loyalties.

However, that great Danish statesman also happened to be a socialist.

View attachment 38782

But this was a feature of German socialism as well, and socialism in Eastern Europe. In these countries the unions see themselves as partners with the capitalist and the goal of the union is to enrich both parties. Its still like this in these areas.

In England, USA and France trade unions had an adversarial tradition where the goal was to bleed the capitalist as much as possible. It led to situations where capitalists were forced to enter into agreements making them uncompetitive. The American train union is the most famous example. Ensuring that a guy was hired to shuffle coal, regardless if the train was electric or not. And other craziness.
Trade unions were adversarial in the USA because the owners were adversarial at first (and many still are). Hell, the GOP is anti-union still.





I think capitalists have always been adversarial to labourunions. In Scandinavia they only cooperate with the unions because they have to.
In Scandinavia, they have a tradition of honoring the compromise agreement that made peace between the owners of capital and labor. This is a very important part of their history, and it would be a fool that overlooked its significance. These partly symbolic political victories have a tremendous long-term impact that outlives their immediate significance.

The Scandinavian states are good places to do business precisely because the trade unions have traditionally been on the side of helping the businesses they work for prosper as long as the pay and working conditions are reasonable.

Well, Scandinavians have a history of honouring any agreement. We're often called naive by other people. This goes right through all of society. The mechanics of this is perhaps the hardest thing for non-Scandinavians to understand about Sweden.

In the olden days (1960 and before) if you were rumoured to have broken an agreement the rest of society would conspire to freeze you out and cutting you off from polite society. This can ruin your life. Swedish culture is all about being passive aggressive and leaving those who don't conform in the cold. If you are seen as untrustworthy or worse, not normal, superficially everybody is nice to you. But nobody will do business with you. Or hire you. Or have sex with you.

It's still like this. but it's slowly changing. I think it's due to the recent decades immigration. Non-ethnic Swedes who continually violate agreements with zero repercussion annoy ethnic Swedes. Its hard to bully someone into obedience who doesn't have the social skills to understand they're being bullied. Immigrants. The social rules are complicated, very subtle, absolute and are almost never taught to immigrants.

It's hard to overstate how extreme Swedish culture is. It's bizarre. As a Swede, you don't understand how strange it is until you have lived elsewhere for a bit.

Anyway... this is why capitalists and workers get along so well in Sweden. They are so good at compromising and getting along with each other because because the social cost of being seen as greedy is extremely high.

Especially for rich people. Social pressures are inverted. The higher your status, the less things you can get away with. It's called "the Law of Jante". In Sweden you can tell whose the boss because he's the guy kissing the most ass. The lower your status the more people will be kind to you, and people compete in status by being the most kind to others, and refuse others help. This makes the capitalists extremely unwilling to mistreat their workers.
 

Swammerdami

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If anyone doubts that labor unions have uplifted the masses, the attached graph found in a Vox article should dissuade.
snapshot-unionmembership.0.png

The one curve is almost the exact inversion of the other, even down to the blips.

Unions came about because the capitalism of the day was authoritarian. Ford ran his company like a dictator.

The documentary qbout 'Bloody Haan County' may be online. It is about the battle between coal miners unionizing and and the owner in Han County Kentucky. Owners had armed thugs to supress protest and unionizing, they were shooting encounters. Miners lived in copany towns. In the old days mines paid miners who spent money in compamy stores and payed rent for company housing. Once yiu had a family yu were stuck in the situation.

And of course Black Lung Disease.

Assuming Haan County and Han County are alternate spellings of Harlan County, let's add some Pete Seeger songs to our playlist:





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EySKZ5fwQ3g

Soon you'll be dreaming that you saw Joe Hill, alive as you and me!
 

steve_bank

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As I said you can not just say 'successful socialism' without bringing in culture and history.

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy. Its success with a socialist system is probbly more about its culture and history as it is stoicalist economics.

You also have to consider the size of the population and the degree of diversity in thought. Soicialism as in Denkrk and Sweden is near impossible in the USA. We have a democrtoc republic that favors the rights and autonomy of individual states and individuals.

COTUS ruled abortion without federal legislation is up to the states. Social programs vary from state to state.

 

SigmatheZeta

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Generally, I am rooted in both ancient Epicurean and ancient Pyrrhonist sentiments, although I am somewhat sympathetic toward the intentions behind ancient Cynicism.
The OP represents what I take to be Freethought. In Freethought one tries to look at issues without looking through a partclar -ism.

In the OP some try to shoehorn a country like Sweden into a dictionary definition of socialism amd the USA in old Marxist terms.

The better approach is to say Sweden is a successful system with attributes a, b, and c that differentiates from say the American system with attributes d,e,f. Therefore Sweden is bettor or worse than the American system for reasons a,b,c.

If we do nor get down to specifics it is a never ending philosophical debate on meaning.
Horse shit. The Nordic Model goes straight back to the Kanslergade Agreement, which was overtly and officially, a compromise package that included the most pressing priorities of several different parties, some of them being socialist. It constitutes a compromise between socialism and capitalism, but socialism was clearly a part of that compromise. To deny this would reflect a stunning ignorance of history.


If you want to know who to thank for making sure that that compromise happened, you can thank Thorvald Stauning, who remains one of the most effective statesmen in European history. He is a model of statesmanship because he used compromise to create a better system than any of the parties in his government could have created by themselves. He turned his government into a united team, and that team realized that their first responsibility was toward the common people of Denmark, not toward partisan loyalties.

However, that great Danish statesman also happened to be a socialist.

View attachment 38782

But this was a feature of German socialism as well, and socialism in Eastern Europe. In these countries the unions see themselves as partners with the capitalist and the goal of the union is to enrich both parties. Its still like this in these areas.

In England, USA and France trade unions had an adversarial tradition where the goal was to bleed the capitalist as much as possible. It led to situations where capitalists were forced to enter into agreements making them uncompetitive. The American train union is the most famous example. Ensuring that a guy was hired to shuffle coal, regardless if the train was electric or not. And other craziness.
Trade unions were adversarial in the USA because the owners were adversarial at first (and many still are). Hell, the GOP is anti-union still.





I think capitalists have always been adversarial to labourunions. In Scandinavia they only cooperate with the unions because they have to.
In Scandinavia, they have a tradition of honoring the compromise agreement that made peace between the owners of capital and labor. This is a very important part of their history, and it would be a fool that overlooked its significance. These partly symbolic political victories have a tremendous long-term impact that outlives their immediate significance.

The Scandinavian states are good places to do business precisely because the trade unions have traditionally been on the side of helping the businesses they work for prosper as long as the pay and working conditions are reasonable.

Well, Scandinavians have a history of honouring any agreement. We're often called naive by other people. This goes right through all of society. The mechanics of this is perhaps the hardest thing for non-Scandinavians to understand about Sweden.

In the olden days (1960 and before) if you were rumoured to have broken an agreement the rest of society would conspire to freeze you out and cutting you off from polite society. This can ruin your life. Swedish culture is all about being passive aggressive and leaving those who don't conform in the cold. If you are seen as untrustworthy or worse, not normal, superficially everybody is nice to you. But nobody will do business with you. Or hire you. Or have sex with you.

It's still like this. but it's slowly changing. I think it's due to the recent decades immigration. Non-ethnic Swedes who continually violate agreements with zero repercussion annoy ethnic Swedes. Its hard to bully someone into obedience who doesn't have the social skills to understand they're being bullied. Immigrants. The social rules are complicated, very subtle, absolute and are almost never taught to immigrants.

It's hard to overstate how extreme Swedish culture is. It's bizarre. As a Swede, you don't understand how strange it is until you have lived elsewhere for a bit.

Anyway... this is why capitalists and workers get along so well in Sweden. They are so good at compromising and getting along with each other because because the social cost of being seen as greedy is extremely high.

Especially for rich people. Social pressures are inverted. The higher your status, the less things you can get away with. It's called "the Law of Jante". In Sweden you can tell whose the boss because he's the guy kissing the most ass. The lower your status the more people will be kind to you, and people compete in status by being the most kind to others, and refuse others help. This makes the capitalists extremely unwilling to mistreat their workers.
I am aware of the Law of Jante. I have met other Scandinavians, and some of them I have met believe that the idea that this is uniquely Scandinavian is at least slightly exaggerated.

We, in English-speaking culture, have a similar concept to the idea that you should keep your agreements. We call it honor. I am not sure that there is a uniquely English concept of honor, but among the English aristocracy, there was a very strong concept of chivalry. A man's adherence to the concept of chivalry was not just a measure of his trustworthiness, but it was a value of his worth as a man...basically, if you said that a person fell short of any of the values in the code of chivalry, you were insinuating that that person may as well be a eunuch.

The code of chivalry goes:

  • Thou shalt believe all that the Church teaches and thou shalt observe all its directions.
  • Thou shalt defend the Church.
  • Thou shalt respect all weaknesses, and shalt constitute thyself the defender of them.
  • Thou shalt love the country in which thou wast born.
  • Thou shalt not recoil before thine enemy.
  • Thou shalt make war against the infidel without cessation and without mercy.
  • Thou shalt perform scrupulously thy feudal duties, if they be not contrary to the laws of God.
  • Thou shalt never lie, and shalt remain faithful to thy pledged word.
  • Thou shalt be generous, and give largesse to everyone.
  • Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil.
While the concept was not strictly British, the stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table made the British aristocracy obsessed with any value-system that would make them seem to be more the "knight in shining armor." Whether or not it was uniquely British, it caught on.

Therefore, the British, at least, do have as much of a cultural and historical reason why they should value keeping an agreement just as much as any Scandinavian if you want to go that route.

I don't. I really consider "codes of honor" like the "Law of Jante" or the "Chivalric code" to be of equally dubious significance. I think it is slightly more useful to look at specific events, specific organizations, and specific historical leaders.

By the way, about 24.7% of British labor is unionized. You can thank the Fabian society for that much. The Fabian Society's efforts eventually helped lead to the rise of the British Labour Party, so I do think that they were significant in the history of the British labor movement.

The Fabian Society's views were very simple: ideally, a union should do as little as possible to disrupt business, and they should only use strike actions when they are sure that the sins of a company are grievous enough to warrant "striking hard." They had the view that, if a union could possibly coexist peacefully with the owners of a company, then they should. Major strikes should therefore only be used in cases where it is clear that sympathy for the strike action would be almost universal, and they should have real consequences.

Their philosophy worked reasonably well because the UK has one of the highest rates of union representation in the entire world:


In any case, you choose to attribute the Kanslergade Agreement to the Law of Jante, and I disagree with you..

I would look into the history of one of the most important political parties that helped to form the Kanslergade Agreement. The Radikale Venstre party was an important centrist party in the history of Swedish politics, and at the time of the Kanslergade Agreement, Staunting was a member of this important kingmaker party.

However, the founding philosophy of the Radikale Venstre party was actually a mixture of both British and American ideas.

*tail-swishes* Yes, Denmark owes part of their awesome to a dirty American. The founding ideas of the Radikale Venstre party were derived from the British statesman John Stuart Mill and the American economist Henry George!

John Stuart Mill was one of the founders of British feminist philosophy and of modern third-way economics. John Stuart Mill actually started off as more "libertarian" (as modern assholes would put it), but over the course of his career, he came to steadily include some socialist ideals into his way of thinking. He always supported free markets, but in the end, he was not a purist. He was open to socialist ideas as long as someone could prove that those socialist ideas did something to genuinely make people's lives better. In other words, he helped to found the modern progressive movement in Anglo-American politics.

Henry George was actually a unique type of socialist. He would not fit in anywhere in 21st Century politics, but I must admit that I find many things about his views to be very attractive. I am attracted more, in principle, to a tax on property than I am to a tax on income. I would need to hear a sound economic argument for the effectiveness of a Georgist taxation scheme in order to endorse it in actual practice, though.

I argue that Radikale Venstre ultimately ended up playing the all-important kingmaker role that led to the Kanslergade Agreement.

While I believe that your "Law of Jante" might or might not have had some kind of an influence, I have met at least as many Swedish people that scoff the idea as Swedish people that endorse it. In my opinion, you might as well say, "Of course, you can trust an Englishman. They live according to a knightly code of chivalry." British people are also no longer settling disputes by dueling with pistols or, alternatively, by engaging in boxing matches. I believe that, in many conversations, these themes are vastly exaggerated beyond their actual influence.

There is no reason why other countries should not be just as capable as the Nordic states of finding a middle-ground. We just need to chart a course that is realistic.
 

SigmatheZeta

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Generally, I am rooted in both ancient Epicurean and ancient Pyrrhonist sentiments, although I am somewhat sympathetic toward the intentions behind ancient Cynicism.
^Edited the above due to the fact that I was thinking too fast and conflated two countries together. My intellect got ahead of my common sense.

I am going to add, as a separate note, that there is a very natural reason why the Swedish people would be sympathetic to the idea of compromise. They really owe a lot of their country's reputation as a "nation of mediators" to their historic leader Charles XIV John. By the early 20th Century, Sweden still would have understood themselves as "the country that united Russia and Britain to defeat the tyrant Napoleon." It makes a powerful story to tell to kids in order to instruct them on the powers of a good mediator. I think that this would have a much stronger influence than some nebulous "Law of Jante."

And please, do not speak to a transwoman in the southern United States of the subtle art of vicious shunning. Southern "politeness" works like that. People down here smile to your face, and they insult you with compliments. Your country isn't the only place where scum hide behind smiles. It is shameful if some of your countrymen act that way. I am thankful that not all of them are so ignorant.
 
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SigmatheZeta

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Generally, I am rooted in both ancient Epicurean and ancient Pyrrhonist sentiments, although I am somewhat sympathetic toward the intentions behind ancient Cynicism.
Excuse me, that party was an important party in the history of DANISH, not Swedish, politics. Jeez. *head-desks* Why does someone from Sweden have to start talking about Janteloven, anyway?
 

Hermit

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Socialism means public ownership of means of production. Sweden is not socialist.
Communism means public ownership of means of production. Sweden is not communist.
Communism means public ownership of everything, not just the means of production. Sweden is not Socialist.
"The abolition of private property" is one of the most often used phrases for scaring the population. It seems to imply that Marx and Engels wanted to create a society in which you can't own a bed, and that the bowl of soup might be snatched from under your spoon at any time and for any reason. Nowhere did Marx or Engels even imply any such thing. When they spoke of the abolition of private property, they only ever used the phrase in the context of the means of production - factories, agricultural landholdings, money used solely to create more money and so forth. They wanted none of that privately owned. While strictly speaking personal property such as your bed, your soup, your tampon, is a subset of private property, they never concerned themselves with it in relationship to privatisation because it is not a means of production, and as such irrelevant to the relation between capital and labour.
 

DrZoidberg

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The OP represents what I take to be Freethought. In Freethought one tries to look at issues without looking through a partclar -ism.

In the OP some try to shoehorn a country like Sweden into a dictionary definition of socialism amd the USA in old Marxist terms.

The better approach is to say Sweden is a successful system with attributes a, b, and c that differentiates from say the American system with attributes d,e,f. Therefore Sweden is bettor or worse than the American system for reasons a,b,c.

If we do nor get down to specifics it is a never ending philosophical debate on meaning.
Horse shit. The Nordic Model goes straight back to the Kanslergade Agreement, which was overtly and officially, a compromise package that included the most pressing priorities of several different parties, some of them being socialist. It constitutes a compromise between socialism and capitalism, but socialism was clearly a part of that compromise. To deny this would reflect a stunning ignorance of history.


If you want to know who to thank for making sure that that compromise happened, you can thank Thorvald Stauning, who remains one of the most effective statesmen in European history. He is a model of statesmanship because he used compromise to create a better system than any of the parties in his government could have created by themselves. He turned his government into a united team, and that team realized that their first responsibility was toward the common people of Denmark, not toward partisan loyalties.

However, that great Danish statesman also happened to be a socialist.

View attachment 38782

But this was a feature of German socialism as well, and socialism in Eastern Europe. In these countries the unions see themselves as partners with the capitalist and the goal of the union is to enrich both parties. Its still like this in these areas.

In England, USA and France trade unions had an adversarial tradition where the goal was to bleed the capitalist as much as possible. It led to situations where capitalists were forced to enter into agreements making them uncompetitive. The American train union is the most famous example. Ensuring that a guy was hired to shuffle coal, regardless if the train was electric or not. And other craziness.

So I don't think it comes down to a single person and a single agreement.

I think it comes down to if cultures are collectivist or individualist. In collectivist cultures the social norm is to get your nose into other people's business. People naturally are more cooperative and more team players. This will influence how their unions behave.

Overall I think collectivist cultures are worse to live in, because its harder to do your own thing. The social pressure isn't to excel, it's to be good enough and normal. Which is bad for anyone not fitting into norms.

They're just less fun.
I am intensely individualistic, but that is one of the reasons why I would join a union if the only jobs available in an economy had viciously authoritarian management involved in them. If I have management that respects me and sees me as an asset that they want to keep, then that is good. I am a very hard worker, and I don't show up to work in order to play. I am very proud of my work ethic. I have had one boss, in my entire life, that wanted to play a domineering role in the relationship and who routinely treated me with bad faith, and whenever he would push me too far, I would push back, resulting in the most amazing shouting matches you ever heard. I always won because if he ever seriously crossed the line, I would just threaten to go home and leave the work to him. He always backed down when it came to that because he knew that he needed me a lot more than I needed him. Eventually, when he expected me to comply with an insanely unreasonable demand, I drove away, and he never saw me again. I'm a very cooperative sort of person, but someone that fucks with me eventually finds out why fucking with me is a bad idea.

Let's put it this way. In a situation where the owners of a firm sent out ruthless strike breakers armed with whips, chains, and clubs to break up a strike, I would be the anarchist that hurled a lit stick of dynamite at the motherfuckers and sent them to Hell.

On the other hand, if I had a good relationship with my employer, which I presently do, then I would not take any shit from a pushy labor union, either. If I felt like it was in my interests to have a direct relationship with my employer, then that is what I would want to preserve.

However, it is going to be up to me if I want to vote union or not, and if my employer started firing people over union advocacy and if people were still whispering about it, let me tell you, I'd side with the union, and I would find a way to make sure we joined.

It's a matter of which party is more likely to give me personal respect. It's not wages, and it's not even working conditions. It's respect. A lack of respect, by an employer, is the only force that would ever compel me to join a union. If an employer wants to keep me out of the union then they had better tell me that I have a right to join if I want to join. Someone that understands that I have rights automatically has a right to my loyalty.

If joining a union is down to personal politics, then that just means that where you live and for the industry you work in unions aren't necessary. People join unions because they have to to survive. Not for ideological reasons.

Also, this idea that some companies might suddenly develop a "viciously authoritarian management" is a caricature. A company will develop whatever management style it needs to have to survive. It's the market that decides how exploitative management needs to be.

If there's a situation where labour is trapped in a situation where salaries aren't paying enough to live off of and workers have no other options, and if governments aren't alleviating the situation, then unions are necessary. Then the market forces need union pushback to reach a sustainable market equilibrium. The labour movement was born in just this type of market. The factory towns of the UK had the lowest average life expectancy in world history. It's never been lower before or since.
 

DrZoidberg

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As I said you can not just say 'successful socialism' without bringing in culture and history.

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy. Its success with a socialist system is probbly more about its culture and history as it is stoicalist economics.

You also have to consider the size of the population and the degree of diversity in thought. Soicialism as in Denkrk and Sweden is near impossible in the USA. We have a democrtoc republic that favors the rights and autonomy of individual states and individuals.

COTUS ruled abortion without federal legislation is up to the states. Social programs vary from state to state.


It's worth keeping in mind that back when Scandinavian countries were autocratic monarchies, kings still ruled by consent of the people. In all old Viking countries central power is week and common people have always been included in any major decisions. We never had Louis XIV style sun kings. Any king who tried would get murdered in an instant. Nobles would often refuse to pay taxes, they didn't think the king needed, or would just ignore or change royal dictates as they saw fit. They would also raise taxes and invest in infrastructure without consulting the king. They would feel empowered to take decisions on their own. Belligerent nobles would continually drag kings into wars they reluctantly had to join. Rarely did the Swedish king manage to be the richest noble in the country.

I'm convinced this tradition has rubbed off on modern Scandinavia.
 
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SigmatheZeta

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Generally, I am rooted in both ancient Epicurean and ancient Pyrrhonist sentiments, although I am somewhat sympathetic toward the intentions behind ancient Cynicism.
The OP represents what I take to be Freethought. In Freethought one tries to look at issues without looking through a partclar -ism.

In the OP some try to shoehorn a country like Sweden into a dictionary definition of socialism amd the USA in old Marxist terms.

The better approach is to say Sweden is a successful system with attributes a, b, and c that differentiates from say the American system with attributes d,e,f. Therefore Sweden is bettor or worse than the American system for reasons a,b,c.

If we do nor get down to specifics it is a never ending philosophical debate on meaning.
Horse shit. The Nordic Model goes straight back to the Kanslergade Agreement, which was overtly and officially, a compromise package that included the most pressing priorities of several different parties, some of them being socialist. It constitutes a compromise between socialism and capitalism, but socialism was clearly a part of that compromise. To deny this would reflect a stunning ignorance of history.


If you want to know who to thank for making sure that that compromise happened, you can thank Thorvald Stauning, who remains one of the most effective statesmen in European history. He is a model of statesmanship because he used compromise to create a better system than any of the parties in his government could have created by themselves. He turned his government into a united team, and that team realized that their first responsibility was toward the common people of Denmark, not toward partisan loyalties.

However, that great Danish statesman also happened to be a socialist.

View attachment 38782

But this was a feature of German socialism as well, and socialism in Eastern Europe. In these countries the unions see themselves as partners with the capitalist and the goal of the union is to enrich both parties. Its still like this in these areas.

In England, USA and France trade unions had an adversarial tradition where the goal was to bleed the capitalist as much as possible. It led to situations where capitalists were forced to enter into agreements making them uncompetitive. The American train union is the most famous example. Ensuring that a guy was hired to shuffle coal, regardless if the train was electric or not. And other craziness.

So I don't think it comes down to a single person and a single agreement.

I think it comes down to if cultures are collectivist or individualist. In collectivist cultures the social norm is to get your nose into other people's business. People naturally are more cooperative and more team players. This will influence how their unions behave.

Overall I think collectivist cultures are worse to live in, because its harder to do your own thing. The social pressure isn't to excel, it's to be good enough and normal. Which is bad for anyone not fitting into norms.

They're just less fun.
I am intensely individualistic, but that is one of the reasons why I would join a union if the only jobs available in an economy had viciously authoritarian management involved in them. If I have management that respects me and sees me as an asset that they want to keep, then that is good. I am a very hard worker, and I don't show up to work in order to play. I am very proud of my work ethic. I have had one boss, in my entire life, that wanted to play a domineering role in the relationship and who routinely treated me with bad faith, and whenever he would push me too far, I would push back, resulting in the most amazing shouting matches you ever heard. I always won because if he ever seriously crossed the line, I would just threaten to go home and leave the work to him. He always backed down when it came to that because he knew that he needed me a lot more than I needed him. Eventually, when he expected me to comply with an insanely unreasonable demand, I drove away, and he never saw me again. I'm a very cooperative sort of person, but someone that fucks with me eventually finds out why fucking with me is a bad idea.

Let's put it this way. In a situation where the owners of a firm sent out ruthless strike breakers armed with whips, chains, and clubs to break up a strike, I would be the anarchist that hurled a lit stick of dynamite at the motherfuckers and sent them to Hell.

On the other hand, if I had a good relationship with my employer, which I presently do, then I would not take any shit from a pushy labor union, either. If I felt like it was in my interests to have a direct relationship with my employer, then that is what I would want to preserve.

However, it is going to be up to me if I want to vote union or not, and if my employer started firing people over union advocacy and if people were still whispering about it, let me tell you, I'd side with the union, and I would find a way to make sure we joined.

It's a matter of which party is more likely to give me personal respect. It's not wages, and it's not even working conditions. It's respect. A lack of respect, by an employer, is the only force that would ever compel me to join a union. If an employer wants to keep me out of the union then they had better tell me that I have a right to join if I want to join. Someone that understands that I have rights automatically has a right to my loyalty.

If joining a union is down to personal politics, then that just means that where you live and for the industry you work in unions aren't necessary. People join unions because they have to to survive. Not for ideological reasons.

Ideology has an impact. Individualist employers are less authoritarian and less likely to demand comformity, tending to focus on the bottom line and not caring if their employees fuck each other on the clock as long as the company stays in the black. Individualist employees are likely to find a union to be more trouble than it is worth and not really worth the security.

When employers are not individualistic but the working-class tries to be individualistic, the job feels like corvee labor. When the working-class are not individualistic but employers are, I suspect that unions can be beneficial.

I feel the last might be the case in the US state of Washington, compared with the rest of the country. The industrialists there are heavily libertarian while the working-class tend to be Marxist.

Ideology plays a role in what people consider to constitute "survival." Ideology shifts people's valences and their perceptions of instrumentality.

Also, this idea that some companies might suddenly develop a "viciously authoritarian management" is a caricature. A company will develop whatever management style it needs to have to survive. It's the market that decides how exploitative management needs to be.

Conservative Baptists are deeply fearful of an assertive inferior. Ideology plays a huge role. If a conservative Baptist is put in charge and the workers do anything besides truckle at every turn, they become hysterical, and they can be quite vicious. Believe me, those konds of lowlifes can and do get into a management structure. Toward superiors, they play the role of "the lamb," and toward superiors, they play the role of "the wolf" but tell anyone that asks they are "the shepherd." They are highly twisted individuals. You cannot understand unless you see it. They are mentally ill. The economies where they have control have low life-expectancies because those in power are crazy.
If there's a situation where labour is trapped in a situation where salaries aren't paying enough to live off of and workers have no other options, and if governments aren't alleviating the situation, then unions are necessary. Then the market forces need union pushback to reach a sustainable market equilibrium. The labour movement was born in just this type of market. The factory towns of the UK had the lowest average life expectancy in world history. It's never been lower before or since.
I have a feeling that an artistic and individualistic bourgeoisie, epitomized by the Bloomsbury Group, combined with a spreading of communitarian thinking and class consciousness among the working-class might have had something to do with it.

Ideology does make a diffrence. If low life-expectancy and awful working conditions always made for unions, then they would be all over the American south. Ideology shifts valences.

One reason that many of the stronger American firms have diversity programs goes back to what I was saying. Diversity promotes individualism. So does money.
 
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DrZoidberg

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Here's a good video on why the economy of the Soviet Union didn't work. I think it's a good summary. His thesis is that USSR was fundamentally just insane. From top to bottom it was a mess. He does a good job avoiding ideology or loaded words. He just goes through the facts.

He argues that the basic flaw of the USSR was that the communists who grabbed power did so without the support of the people. They were only ever a tiny minority who were rapidly becoming unpopular. If they wanted to keep their hold on power they had to rapidly switch to authoritarian methods, modelled on Tsarist Russia. which they did. That way of ruling a country hampers innovation and growth. That would have been true even without the communist economic model. The socialism didn't help.



I am convinced that if socialist revolutions would have gotten the support of a broad coalition of people, and had the genuine support of the masses, we would have ended up with something like Sweden. It's also worth noting that the road to democracy in Scandinavia was through the socialist movement. That's what the term "social democrat" is about. It's socialists who want to set themselves apart from the socialist of USSR. I think they're still socialists.
 

DrZoidberg

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If there's a situation where labour is trapped in a situation where salaries aren't paying enough to live off of and workers have no other options, and if governments aren't alleviating the situation, then unions are necessary. Then the market forces need union pushback to reach a sustainable market equilibrium. The labour movement was born in just this type of market. The factory towns of the UK had the lowest average life expectancy in world history. It's never been lower before or since.
I have a feeling that an artistic and individualistic bourgeoisie, epitomized by the Bloomsbury Group, combined with a spreading of communitarian thinking and class consciousness among the working-class might have had something to do with it.

Ideology does make a diffrence. If low life-expectancy and awful working conditions always made for unions, then they would be all over the American south. Ideology shifts valences.
The Bloomsbury Group sure were class conscious. They were elitist. They'd be horrified to be associated with the riff raff. And they absolutely, did NOT, want to empower the working class. They thought they were superior humans who should be the one in charge.

Modernism is one of the most misunderstood movements today. We have this evangelical glow around the Enlightenment and Enlightenment values that we forget the dark side. When Christians of that day criticized liberals for being arrogant and knowing they had all the answer, this is what they were talking about. When Thomas Khun was having a go at scientific positivism and Objectivism, this is what he was criticizing. The French Revolution, the terror, USSR, Nazism, liberal democracy, social welfare, USA... these are all the result of Enlightenment values and the belief that our fathers didn't know what they were doing, and that we know it better.

What Christianity has going for it is that it has worked for millennia. If we just keep doing what we always have been doing, at least it won't become dangerous. That's what conservative Christians mean when they criticize liberals. They're not against liberal values. They just question whether the liberal leaders, really know what they are doing. Since throughout history, so many liberal leaders have led us catastrophically astray.

A feature of basic human psychology is that we overvalue our own opinions and experiences. So whenever a small group of people get empowered, they will think they're special and awesome. The story of the 19th and 20th century is the story of revolutionary grand utopian ideals smashing headlong into the crass wall of reality and those in charge learning nothing. Namely, if we cherry pick data we can prove anything.

It wasn't all bad. Democracy is good. Industrialization is awesome. Modern science is the tits. But we need to acknowledge the high cost and that the world we have today is the result of evolution. The bad Enlightenment ideas having largely been abandoned today. But liberals do keep coming up with dumb ideas. Like the one below. So it's an ongoing problem.

One reason that many of the stronger American firms have diversity programs goes back to what I was saying. Diversity promotes individualism. So does money.

I don't think diversity programs promotes individualism and I don't think it promotes diversity. Intersectionalism is not about progressive values, inclusion of minorities or anything they say they are for. It's pure theatre. If anything we've just made it harder for minorities to penetrate the white boys club, since everybody else who reaches a position of power will be assumed to be tokens, and kept out of having any real influence. These token minorities are NOT treated as individuals. They're treated as representatives of a group. Their individuality has been erased. The solution is to remove all diversity programs and to let individuals do our best (if they want to) to try to see past race, sexuality, religion etc and judge people on the result of their labour. It's the only method that can actually work. If our goal, truly is to include everybody.

Just to be clear here. I am a liberal. I think equality between humans is a good in itself and is something we should strive to achieve. But just because I'm a liberal it doesn't mean I am not allowed to criticize other liberals. Me questioning certain aspect of the liberal movement does NOT make me a conservative. I don't have conservative values and I have very little in common with conservatives.
 

steve_bank

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As I said you can not just say 'successful socialism' without bringing in culture and history.

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy. Its success with a socialist system is probbly more about its culture and history as it is stoicalist economics.

You also have to consider the size of the population and the degree of diversity in thought. Soicialism as in Denkrk and Sweden is near impossible in the USA. We have a democrtoc republic that favors the rights and autonomy of individual states and individuals.

COTUS ruled abortion without federal legislation is up to the states. Social programs vary from state to state.


It's worth keeping in mind that back when Scandinavian countries were autocratic monarchies, kings still ruled by consent of the people. In all old Viking countries central power is week and common people have always been included in any major decisions. We never had Louis XIV style sun kings. Any king who tried would get murdered in an instant. Nobles would often refuse to pay taxes, they didn't think the king needed, or would just ignore or change royal dictates as they saw fit. They would also raise taxes and invest in infrastructure without consulting the king. They would feel empowered to take decisions on their own. Belligerent nobles would continually drag kings into wars they reluctantly had to join. Rarely did the Swedish king manage to be the richest noble in the country.

I'm convinced this tradition has rubbed off on modern Scandinavia.
Over here our political and social problems are based in our history and culture. Hyper individualism and rejection of collective behavior for the common good. Everybody has the right to go their own way at anytime regardless of consequences.

Trump repesents a lot of people. In general popular republican culture soicaism equates to not being able to do whatever you want personaly and with your money. Part of it is republcan fear mongering to maintain stasus quo.
 

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Here's another good video on the economy of the Soviet Union and Russia. The Soviet economy was based on oil and gas. Almost entirely. The country basically was Venezuela. Same trajectory of it's economy. It rose and fell for the same reasons. Whenever the price of oil was high, the USSR was out crusading for communism, trying to convince the world how great they were. When the price of oil was low, then not so much.

 

DrZoidberg

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Over here our political and social problems are based in our history and culture. Hyper individualism and rejection of collective behavior for the common good. Everybody has the right to go their own way at anytime regardless of consequences.

Trump repesents a lot of people. In general popular republican culture soicaism equates to not being able to do whatever you want personaly and with your money. Part of it is republcan fear mongering to maintain stasus quo.

But Republicans aren't wrong about that. Socialism is equated with you not being able to do whatever you want with your own money. Socialists think that the entire idea that it's possible for anyone to own anything as absurd. Which it is.

It's important to acknowledge how weird the Conservative axiom about private property is. Making private property sacred is not common sense, natural or obvious. It was born out of a British tradition to control the king. Edmund Burke made it into a coherent philosophy. These ideas gained prominence as a British reaction to the French Revolution. It turned out that this was great for the British economy. The British crown not defaulting on loans meant that people loved lending money to the British crown, which gave them more money to use. They also became sensible in their spending, because they knew they couldn't just tell their underlings they weren't paying them back (like the French and Spanish kings did). So it became entrenched in British culture and spread over the culture and spread into their colonies. The wisdom of this strategy and the great wealth it generated for the British Empire led to other kingdoms trying to copy the British model.

But here's the important part. We treat private property as if it is sacred because it works. Not because it is actually sacred. The moment it stops working, we can stop treating private property as sacred. Copyright law is similar. We started respecting copyrights because it encouraged artists to produce more art. Great. But at some point we expanded copyright law to a point where it hampers the production of art. Now the limits on being able to use cultural and entrenched shared icons in our culture is getting in the way of artists producing art. So now we're talking about shortening copyrights. Copyright infringement isn't a crime like murder is. It's not a moral crime.

Taxes isn't stealing. That mindset is crazy. The community owns everything. That's what's natural and normal. Be happy the state allows you to keep anything.

The Russian revolution was sparked by the fact that Russian society was rigged in such a way that unless you were a noble, you were doomed to be forever poor or struggling to get by. In that situation we have a moral obligation NOT to treat private property as sacred. If we're not awarded equal opportunity in life, why would we respect the property of those more privileged than us? We shouldn't.
 
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steve_bank

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I understand wat yiu are saying, but I see a difference between philsophic l socialism and economic socialism.

Economic socialism is relationship between government and business. Philosophical wod be about private ownership.

China with a soicialist economy has prib\vate ownership and free market economics.

I garee with private ownership people are vested in marinating the property be it a car, a house, or a diswasher.It comes down to what I said at the start. Using broad categories have no meaning. What are the specifc attributes of the Swedish and Danish sytems tha nakes them successful.

How does employment security and welfare work? Health care. Taxes.

Wasn't it Henry 8th who enabled a non aristocratic middle class? He gave away Catholic property to commoners and fostered business didn't he?

Our idea of the indendent man goes back to a largely fictionalized 19th century image of the lone man fighting Indians and carving out a ranch, farm, or other enterprises.

I was watching an old rerun of the TV show Bonanza, very popular in the day. Ben Cartwright and 3 sons oversee an obscenely vast piece of land. Timber, mines, cattle, water and so on.

In one episode Ben and sons come upon people on his land. He says 'You are tespasing, get off my land and if I see you again I'll kill you'. That s the 19th century conservative view.

It is a common theme in ll the old cowboy movies. The patriarchal male defending property and family against interlopers.

The image was fosteerd by east coast pulp fiction, dime novel, writers. Newspapers and writers sensationalized and created myths about going west and getting rich.
 

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But Republicans aren't wrong about that. Socialism is equated with you not being able to do whatever you want with your own money. Socialists think that the entire idea that it's possible for anyone to own anything as absurd. Which it is.
I dunno about ‘anything’, but it’s certainly absurd to think that there’s such a thing as ‘your own money’, unless you are a sovereign currency issuing entity.

Money is not property. It’s a score - you don’t own it, anymore than you own the points you score when playing a game. If the rules of the game say that your score goes down, that’s not an instance of the referee or umpire “stealing your own points”, it’s an instance of the rules of the game saying that your points are reduced at some time for some reason or set of reasons.

If the government decides to reduce the amount of their money in existence by removing some from your account as taxes, then that’s their prerogative. It’s their money - in an absolutely literal sense. They created it, and they can destroy it without going anywhere near your wallet, through inflation or simply by declaring it worthless. You may own the little rectangles of paper with green ink on them, but you don’t own the money it represents. That money isn’t bits of paper or metal; It’s a service provided by a government (or in the case of crypto currency, by a bunch of software engineers) to make trade easier.

Ideally, the rules and circumstances under which this occurs should be advised in advance, and should apply equally to all of the players in the economy - that is, ceteris paribus, you shouldn’t be taxed differently from your neighbours, just because they have a relative who works at the taxation department, or a friend who is a government minister.

And ideally, you should have the option to get out of the game - to move to a different country with a different currency, and play a different game with rules that you prefer.

But regardless, money isn’t the kind of thing that can be ‘yours’, in the way that a tin of beans or a roll of toilet paper can be your personal property.
 

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If that is how you define "socialists", then they are few and far between...
At least we are beyond the silly definition of "capitalism, but with somewhat higher taxes and more generous social programs than the US".
 

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But Republicans aren't wrong about that. Socialism is equated with you not being able to do whatever you want with your own money. Socialists think that the entire idea that it's possible for anyone to own anything as absurd. Which it is.
That's religious ideology. Ownership is what happens when one use of a scarce resource precludes another use. Since there isn't an unlimited supply of apples and you eating an apple causes somebody else not to eat that apple, apples are owned -- the alternative would be constant violence to grab apples from one another's hands and eat them before someone else grabs them. So the operational question is not whether anyone owns anything but whether the apples are privately owned or owned by the community as a whole. Presumably you know this, and it was specifically private ownership you were calling absurd. But the community as a whole is a monopoly. If a private apple owner denies you his apples you can make a deal with the owner of some other apples to eat one of hers. But if the community as a whole denies you its apples you're screwed and you go hungry. What you are calling absurd is competition. More than that, what you're calling absurd is separation of powers.

But here's the important part. We treat private property as if it is sacred because it works. Not because it is actually sacred. The moment it stops working, we can stop treating private property as sacred. Copyright law is similar.
Not really. Copies of ideas are not a scarce resource, and me copying something for my use doesn't preclude you copying it for your use too. Respecting private ownership of tangible stuff is something we chimps have been doing since before there were three species of us. In Britain it was one of the pillars of the Common Law. But there's no common-law copyright -- it's an invention of the Tudor kings' statutes. Back when stealing real stuff was a hanging offense, people used to copy anything they felt like. Monkey-see-monkey-do is the ancient law of our lineage; it's so basic to who we are we call it "aping".

We started respecting copyrights because it encouraged artists to produce more art.
No we didn't, at least not we in the Anglosphere Maybe in Scandinavia it was different, but we started respecting copyrights because Henry VII ordered us to -- and he didn't give a rat's ass about artists producing more art. Quite the reverse. The original purpose of copyright law was censorship. The most effective way to keep dangerous anti-Tudor pamphlets from being printed was to prohibit everyone from printing anything until they got prior approval from the King's officers -- until the King granted them a right to copy.

After printing got so widespread it grew impractical for the king's officers to read everything in advance, copyright law got a second wind of life when publishers agitated for it, in the usual traditional mercantilist modus operandi of splitting monopoly profits with the crown. Copyright law was around for about two hundred years before anybody thought of using it to help artists.

The community owns everything. That's what's natural and normal. Be happy the state allows you to keep anything.
The community owning everything is about as natural as Thomas Hobbes' war of all against all that he called the "State of Nature". These are philosophers' origin myths; they aren't anything primatologists learned from observing apes in the wild.

The Russian revolution was sparked by the fact that Russian society was rigged in such a way that unless you were a noble, you were doomed to be forever poor or struggling to get by. In that situation we have a moral obligation NOT to treat private property as sacred.
The Russian revolution was sparked by the fact that Russian soldiers kept being sent out to charge German machine guns by Russian governments that wouldn't face reality and sue for peace.

If we're not awarded equal opportunity in life, why would we respect the property of those more privileged than us? We shouldn't.
Of course we should. We will never be awarded equal opportunity in life, least of all by any government set up by the ideologues who claim we will be. We would respect the property of those more privileged than us anyway because that's the moral thing to do. It's the moral thing to do because morality is not a suicide pact. If we stop respecting the property of those more privileged than us then there will be a famine and a whole lot of us will die.
 

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But Republicans aren't wrong about that. Socialism is equated with you not being able to do whatever you want with your own money. Socialists think that the entire idea that it's possible for anyone to own anything as absurd. Which it is.
That's religious ideology. Ownership is what happens when one use of a scarce resource precludes another use. Since there isn't an unlimited supply of apples and you eating an apple causes somebody else not to eat that apple, apples are owned -- the alternative would be constant violence to grab apples from one another's hands and eat them before someone else grabs them. So the operational question is not whether anyone owns anything but whether the apples are privately owned or owned by the community as a whole. Presumably you know this, and it was specifically private ownership you were calling absurd. But the community as a whole is a monopoly. If a private apple owner denies you his apples you can make a deal with the owner of some other apples to eat one of hers. But if the community as a whole denies you its apples you're screwed and you go hungry. What you are calling absurd is competition. More than that, what you're calling absurd is separation of powers.

I'm not saying it doesn't make sense to treat private property as sacred. What I am saying is that it isn't natural or common sensicle. It's an agreement we have made because it makes society work better. Apples grow on trees. Nature put the work in. The guy owning the tree didn't. I am aware farming apples is a job and apples don't just happen. But it's not hard to argue that any and all apples are just as much anyone's.

Socialism isn't any more natural or common sensicle. Socialism is also an agreement. It's treating everything the property of the community as a whole. That doesn't make any more or less sense than private property. These are just conventions.

My point is that you can't use ethics, ideology or common sense to figure this shit out. Any and all positions are just as valid.






But here's the important part. We treat private property as if it is sacred because it works. Not because it is actually sacred. The moment it stops working, we can stop treating private property as sacred. Copyright law is similar.
Not really. Copies of ideas are not a scarce resource, and me copying something for my use doesn't preclude you copying it for your use too. Respecting private ownership of tangible stuff is something we chimps have been doing since before there were three species of us. In Britain it was one of the pillars of the Common Law. But there's no common-law copyright -- it's an invention of the Tudor kings' statutes. Back when stealing real stuff was a hanging offense, people used to copy anything they felt like. Monkey-see-monkey-do is the ancient law of our lineage; it's so basic to who we are we call it "aping".

So what if a resource is scarce? Your logic is backwards. A resources scarceness doesn't magically make it property rights natural or obvious. I agree that it's a good idea to figure out some sort of system regarding scarce resources, so we prevent each other from murdering each other over it. But what system that is, is less obvious.

In countries with high income inequality and the poor aren't protected, murder rates are high. Using taxes to alleviate the situation for the poorest, saves lives. Since less people are murdered. That is a perfectly fine way to reason, and isn't inherently immoral or arguing for the legalisation of theft.

We started respecting copyrights because it encouraged artists to produce more art.
No we didn't, at least not we in the Anglosphere Maybe in Scandinavia it was different, but we started respecting copyrights because Henry VII ordered us to -- and he didn't give a rat's ass about artists producing more art. Quite the reverse. The original purpose of copyright law was censorship. The most effective way to keep dangerous anti-Tudor pamphlets from being printed was to prohibit everyone from printing anything until they got prior approval from the King's officers -- until the King granted them a right to copy.

After printing got so widespread it grew impractical for the king's officers to read everything in advance, copyright law got a second wind of life when publishers agitated for it, in the usual traditional mercantilist modus operandi of splitting monopoly profits with the crown. Copyright law was around for about two hundred years before anybody thought of using it to help artists.

True. But I was thinking about modern copyrights. The copyrights we did put into place to encourage the production of mass printed art.



The Russian revolution was sparked by the fact that Russian society was rigged in such a way that unless you were a noble, you were doomed to be forever poor or struggling to get by. In that situation we have a moral obligation NOT to treat private property as sacred.
The Russian revolution was sparked by the fact that Russian soldiers kept being sent out to charge German machine guns by Russian governments that wouldn't face reality and sue for peace.

I think you are confusing the symptom with the cause


If we're not awarded equal opportunity in life, why would we respect the property of those more privileged than us? We shouldn't.
Of course we should. We will never be awarded equal opportunity in life, least of all by any government set up by the ideologues who claim we will be. We would respect the property of those more privileged than us anyway because that's the moral thing to do. It's the moral thing to do because morality is not a suicide pact. If we stop respecting the property of those more privileged than us then there will be a famine and a whole lot of us will die.

Again.. you are arguing for it because it is in our best interest and that it's been proven, in the long run, that it's a smart thing to do. What I am saying is that there may be instances when it isn't true.

You are making an absolute statement where free market capitalism is ALWAYS good. No matter the situation. I am saying that there may be instances where it isn't.
 

steve_bank

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Another twist I stumbled on while looking at something else.

From the gospels I never saw how Chistians can be capitalist.


Christian socialism is a religious and political philosophy that blends Christianity and socialism, endorsing left-wing politics and socialist economics on the basis of the Bible and the teachings of Jesus. Many Christian socialists believe capitalism to be idolatrous and rooted in the sin of greed.[1] Christian socialists identify the cause of social inequality to be the greed that they associate with capitalism.[1] Christian socialism became a major movement in the United Kingdom beginning in the 19th century. The Christian Socialist Movement, known as Christians on the Left since 2013, is one formal group,[1][2] as well as a faction of the Labour Party.[3][4]

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, socialism is a "social and economic doctrine that calls for public rather than private ownership or control of property and natural resources. According to the socialist view, individuals do not live or work in isolation but live in cooperation with one another. Furthermore, everything that people produce is in some sense a social product, and everyone who contributes to the production of a good is entitled to a share in it. Society as a whole, therefore, should own or at least control property for the benefit of all its members. [...] Early Christian communities also practised the sharing of goods and labour, a simple form of socialism subsequently followed in certain forms of monasticism. Several monastic orders continue these practices today".[5] The Christian socialist Hutterites believed in strict adherence to biblical principles, "church discipline" and practised a form of communism. The Hutterites "established in their communities a rigorous system of Ordnungen, which were codes of rules and regulations that governed all aspects of life and ensured a unified perspective. As an economic system, Christian communism was attractive to many of the peasants who supported social revolution in sixteenth century central Europe" such as the German Peasants' War and "Friedrich Engels thus came to view Anabaptists as proto-Communists".[6]

Other earlier figures are also viewed as Christian socialists, such as the 19th-century writers Frederick Denison Maurice[2] (The Kingdom of Christ, 1838), John Malcolm Forbes Ludlow[2] (The Christian Socialist, 1850), John Ruskin (Unto This Last, 1862), Charles Kingsley[2] (The Water-Babies, 1863), Thomas Hughes (Tom Brown's Schooldays, 1857), Frederick James Furnivall (co-creator of the Oxford English Dictionary), Adin Ballou (Practical Christian Socialism, 1854), and Francis Bellamy (a Baptist minister and the author of the United States' Pledge of Allegiance).
 

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Another twist I stumbled on while looking at something else.

From the gospels I never saw how Chistians can be capitalist.


Christian socialism is a religious and political philosophy that blends Christianity and socialism, endorsing left-wing politics and socialist economics on the basis of the Bible and the teachings of Jesus. Many Christian socialists believe capitalism to be idolatrous and rooted in the sin of greed.[1] Christian socialists identify the cause of social inequality to be the greed that they associate with capitalism.[1] Christian socialism became a major movement in the United Kingdom beginning in the 19th century. The Christian Socialist Movement, known as Christians on the Left since 2013, is one formal group,[1][2] as well as a faction of the Labour Party.[3][4]

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, socialism is a "social and economic doctrine that calls for public rather than private ownership or control of property and natural resources. According to the socialist view, individuals do not live or work in isolation but live in cooperation with one another. Furthermore, everything that people produce is in some sense a social product, and everyone who contributes to the production of a good is entitled to a share in it. Society as a whole, therefore, should own or at least control property for the benefit of all its members. [...] Early Christian communities also practised the sharing of goods and labour, a simple form of socialism subsequently followed in certain forms of monasticism. Several monastic orders continue these practices today".[5] The Christian socialist Hutterites believed in strict adherence to biblical principles, "church discipline" and practised a form of communism. The Hutterites "established in their communities a rigorous system of Ordnungen, which were codes of rules and regulations that governed all aspects of life and ensured a unified perspective. As an economic system, Christian communism was attractive to many of the peasants who supported social revolution in sixteenth century central Europe" such as the German Peasants' War and "Friedrich Engels thus came to view Anabaptists as proto-Communists".[6]

Other earlier figures are also viewed as Christian socialists, such as the 19th-century writers Frederick Denison Maurice[2] (The Kingdom of Christ, 1838), John Malcolm Forbes Ludlow[2] (The Christian Socialist, 1850), John Ruskin (Unto This Last, 1862), Charles Kingsley[2] (The Water-Babies, 1863), Thomas Hughes (Tom Brown's Schooldays, 1857), Frederick James Furnivall (co-creator of the Oxford English Dictionary), Adin Ballou (Practical Christian Socialism, 1854), and Francis Bellamy (a Baptist minister and the author of the United States' Pledge of Allegiance).

It's more interesting than that. The socialist movement was started as mass meetings with the communist agitator acting as a priest. The communist manifesto became a sacred text, and treated as the Bible. Socialist organisations systematically replaced church functions with secular equivalents.

Communism is totally based on Christian teachings and the Bible. To an high degree.

This is evolution. Its what people knew. If they wanted to start a mass movement they needed to base it on something they knew already.

It can also be argued that Calvinism is the source of what later became the Terror in France and later Communism in USSR and China. Calvin's attempt was that, for once, people should take all of the Bible seriously.

Its very interesting how Christian conservatives have such a problem with socialism. They are very similar in their outlook
 

bilby

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Its very interesting how Christian conservatives have such a problem with socialism. They are very similar in their outlook
That’s usually what causes the worst violence. Just look at Northern Ireland, or the Iran/Iraq wars.

There’s an old joke about a man hurrying home near the Falls Road in Belfast just after curfew, in the midst of The Troubles. A paramilitary wearing a balaclava drags him into an alley, and puts a knife to his throat.

“Are you a Catholic, or a Protestant?”

Thinking fast, the man says “Actually, I am Jewish”

“I see”, says his assailant. “Are you a Catholic Jew, or a Protestant Jew?”



Being slightly different is lethally dangerous. Being very different isn’t a problem. As long as you don’t take sides between the two apparently indistinguishable belligerents.
 

steve_bank

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Israel I believe was ffounded as socialist. The kibbutz.

In the 70s on campus I listened to an Israeli recruiting students to summer on a kibbutz.

It had a amenities like a swimming pool. It had a car pool if you needed to go somewhere. Private residences and a common dining hall. The problem was pictures of people walking around with assault rifles.

In the 90s there was a 'back to the kibbutz' movement as a reaction to problems with the Israeli economy.




A kibbutz (Hebrew: קִבּוּץ / קיבוץ‎, lit. "gathering, clustering"; plural: kibbutzim קִבּוּצִים‎ / קיבוצים‎) is an intentional community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture. The first kibbutz, established in 1909, was Degania.[1] Today, farming has been partly supplanted by other economic branches, including industrial plants and high-tech enterprises.[2] Kibbutzim began as utopian communities, a combination of socialism and Zionism.[3] In recent decades, some kibbutzim have been privatized and changes have been made in the communal lifestyle. A member of a kibbutz is called a kibbutznik (Hebrew: קִבּוּצְנִיק / קיבוצניק‎; plural kibbutznikim or kibbutzniks).

In 2010, there were 270 kibbutzim in Israel with population of 126,000.[4] Their factories and farms account for 9% of Israel's industrial output, worth US$8 billion, and 40% of its agricultural output, worth over US$1.7 billion.[5] Some kibbutzim had also developed substantial high-tech and military industries. For example, in 2010, Kibbutz Sasa, containing some 200 members, generated US$850 million in annual revenue from its military-plastics industry.[6]

Currently the kibbutzim are organised in the secular Kibbutz Movement with some 230 kibbutzim, the Religious Kibbutz Movement with 16 kibbutzim and the much smaller religious Poalei Agudat Yisrael with two kibbutzim, all part of the wider communal settlement movement.
 

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There’s an old joke about a man hurrying home near the Falls Road in Belfast just after curfew, in the midst of The Troubles. A paramilitary wearing a balaclava drags him into an alley, and puts a knife to his throat.

“Are you a Catholic, or a Protestant?”

Thinking fast, the man says “Actually, I am Jewish”

“I see”, says his assailant. “Are you a Catholic Jew, or a Protestant Jew?”
In the version I heard, the punchline was "Hah! And Ahmed told me I'd never find one here!".
 

Bomb#20

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It can also be argued that Calvinism is the source of what later became the Terror in France and later Communism in USSR and China. Calvin's attempt was that, for once, people should take all of the Bible seriously.
The Bible was never meant to be taken seriously. But it was an authoritarian age. The reformers needed an argument from authority because the Age of Reason hadn't happened yet. Opposing the authority of the Pope with "Please, please, please listen! I’ve got one or two things to say. Look, you’ve got it all wrong! You don’t need to follow me. You don’t need to follow anybody! You’ve got to think for yourselves! You’re all individuals! You’re all different!" was never going to fly. Calvin and Luther needed a counter-authority with gravitas to compete with the Pope, and the Bible was the only thing they could come up with.
 

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Socialism means public ownership of means of production. Sweden is not socialist.
Communism means public ownership of means of production. Sweden is not communist.
Communism means public ownership of everything, not just the means of production. Sweden is not Socialist.
"The abolition of private property" is one of the most often used phrases for scaring the population.

I am not trying to scare people with that phrase. I am helping to clarify that Sweden is not Socialist and Socialist is not Communist. Also, just in case anyone wants to misinterpret me, Sweden is not Communist either.
 

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Socialism means public ownership of means of production. Sweden is not socialist.
Communism means public ownership of means of production. Sweden is not communist.
Communism means public ownership of everything, not just the means of production. Sweden is not Socialist.
"The abolition of private property" is one of the most often used phrases for scaring the population.
I am not trying to scare people with that phrase. I am helping to clarify that Sweden is not Socialist and Socialist is not Communist. Also, just in case anyone wants to misinterpret me, Sweden is not Communist either.
We agree that Sweden is not communist, but it is socialist. This is because communism is just a subset of socialism. Maybe repeating something I posted a few days ago might help you understand:
Looking up "socialism" in Merriam-Webster's dictionary:
The differences between communism and socialism are still debated, but generally English speakers use communism to talk about the political and economic ideologies that find their origin in Karl Marx’s theory of revolutionary socialism, which advocates a proletariat overthrow of capitalist structures within a society; societal and communal ownership and governance of the means of production; and the eventual establishment of a classless society. The most well-known expression of Marx’s theories is the 20th-century Bolshevism of the U.S.S.R., in which the state, through a single authoritarian party, controlled a society’s economic and social activities with the goal of realizing Marx’s theories. Socialism, meanwhile, is most often used in modern English to refer to a system of social organization in which private property and the distribution of income are subject to social control.
Most people who equate all forms of socialism with communism do so in order to taint the former with the odour the latter has acquired in the real world. The real world has also demonstrated that socialist and capitalist policies do not preclude each other. It can even be argued that socialist policies are not inherently antithetical to conservatism. The United Kingdom's Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and Germany's Chancellor Otto von Bismarck come to mind.
While Sweden's policies encourage capitalist enterprise it also pursues a number of socialist policies. The country's healthcare is largely free for its citizens. It is also good enough for most of them. Only one out of every ten people in Sweden bother to take out private health insurance. Tertiary education is totally tax funded for its citizens. When I say "free", I mean it is funded by taxes, which is why personal income tax brackets top out at 57.2 per cent. Sweden's economy is shaped by centralized economic planning and government regulation.

Despite increased deregulation and expanding privatization of public services since the 1990 the nation is a hybrid of capitalism and socialism. You cannot say it is not capitalistic, but you cannot say it is not socialistic either unless you insist that the only form of socialism is communism.
 

DrZoidberg

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Socialism means public ownership of means of production. Sweden is not socialist.
Communism means public ownership of means of production. Sweden is not communist.
Communism means public ownership of everything, not just the means of production. Sweden is not Socialist.
"The abolition of private property" is one of the most often used phrases for scaring the population.

I am not trying to scare people with that phrase. I am helping to clarify that Sweden is not Socialist and Socialist is not Communist. Also, just in case anyone wants to misinterpret me, Sweden is not Communist either.
I disagree. I think Sweden is socialist and does meet the definition. A country can be socialist while permitting private property. Or to be more precise. Socialism allows the government to stick their noses into people's private business if they think it's of public interest. As far as level of control, for the state it makes no difference if this is done through direct ownership or done by regulation. What matters is the outcome. In your definition one is socialist and the other isn't. To me, both are socialist.
 

DrZoidberg

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When Deng Xiaoping said "it doesn't matter if the cat is black or white. What's important is that it catches mice". China didn't stop being communist. It's still communist.

The basic philosophy underpinning the government, ie a Marxist materialist reading of history, is still the foundational philosophy that informs everything that that government does.

Sweden is less Marxist today because Swedes don't read books and are ideologically illiterate. Swedish Marxists rarely know the basics of what Marx actually taught. But officially, it's still informed by Marxist thought. It goes right through the entire society. If a Swede ruins their own life by making bad life choices they expect the government to catch them and sort things out for them. And people are, in general, cool about paying taxes for that. Swedes think it normal and natural that healthcare is primarily funded by the state and that money should go to whoever needs it the most. Not who has the most money. This is all at the core of Marxism/Socialist thougth
 

Jason Harvestdancer

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Socialism means public ownership of means of production. Sweden is not socialist.
Communism means public ownership of means of production. Sweden is not communist.
Communism means public ownership of everything, not just the means of production. Sweden is not Socialist.
"The abolition of private property" is one of the most often used phrases for scaring the population.
I am not trying to scare people with that phrase. I am helping to clarify that Sweden is not Socialist and Socialist is not Communist. Also, just in case anyone wants to misinterpret me, Sweden is not Communist either.
We agree that Sweden is not communist, but it is socialist.

The means of production are in private, not public hands. Ergo, not socialist.

While Sweden's policies encourage capitalist enterprise it also pursues a number of socialist policies. The country's healthcare is largely free for its citizens.

Are you saying that the healthcare system is a government endeavor, with healthcare providers working directly for the government.

When I say "free", I mean it is funded by taxes, which is why personal income tax brackets top out at 57.2 per cent. Sweden's economy is shaped by centralized economic planning and government regulation.

A progressive tax structure is not indicative of socialism.

Despite increased deregulation and expanding privatization of public services since the 1990 the nation is a hybrid of capitalism and socialism. You cannot say it is not capitalistic, but you cannot say it is not socialistic either unless you insist that the only form of socialism is communism.

You've pointed out one industry where the means of production are in public hands ... pending clarification. Not pure Capitalism, but very far removed from Socialism.
 

bilby

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The means of production are in private, not public hands. Ergo, not socialist.
Linguistic prescriptivism is an error, not an argument.

When your entire position rests on the idea that your definition of a word is right, and common usage is wrong, your position is untenable and stupid.
 

Jason Harvestdancer

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The means of production are in private, not public hands. Ergo, not socialist.
Linguistic prescriptivism is an error, not an argument.

When your entire position rests on the idea that your definition of a word is right, and common usage is wrong, your position is untenable and stupid.

Using words correctly is never an error.
 
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